Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Vintage Video: Sonja Heine
Sonja Henie (April 8, 1912 - October 12, 1969) was a Norwegian figure skater and film star. She was a three-time Olympic Champion (1928, 1932, 1936) in Ladies Singles, a ten-time World Champion (1927–1936) and a six-time European Champion (1931–1936). Henie won more Olympic and World titles than any other ladies figure skater. At the height of her acting career she was one of the highest paid stars in Hollywood.
Sonja Henie was born in Kristiania, current Oslo, the only daughter of Wilhelm Henie, a prosperous Norwegian furrier and his wife Selma Lochmann-Nielsen (1888–1961). In addition to the income from the fur business, both of Henie's parents had inherited wealth. Wilhelm Henie had been a one-time World Cycling Champion and the Henie children were encouraged to take up a variety of sports at a young age. Henie initially showed talent at skiing, and then followed her older brother Leif to take up figure skating. As a girl, Henie was also a nationally ranked tennis player and a skilled swimmer and equestrienne. Once Henie began serious training as a figure skater, her formal schooling ended.